Donver Stable’s Careless Jewel opened up an early lead and never looked back, going gate-to-wire for a convincing 7 1/4-length victory in the $250,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) (VIDEO) July 18 at Delaware Park.
Trained by Josie Carroll, 3-year-old Careless Jewel was making her stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Oaks, and she made it look easy. The daughter of Tapit was unraced as a juvenile, but has now put together three consecutive wins. A Canadian shipper, her last two scores came on the Polytrack at Woodbine.
Ridden by Robert Landry, Careless Jewel broke sharply from post 4 and was allowed to get an easy lead from her five rivals. She posted fractions of :23.51, :46.94, and 1:10.96 for six furlongs while never being seriously contested. Sweet Golden Carol pressed the pace in the early stages before fading, but it was Malibu Prayer who was closest to the frontrunner the rest of the way. Bon Jovi Girl, the 3-5 favorite, was never a factor.
Careless Jewel put it into another gear when coming off the turn and opened up a five-length advantage over Malibu Prayer at the eighth pole. She continued to extend her advantage in deep stretch while being urged by Landry.
The final time on the fast main track was 1:42.95. Malibu Prayer was a clear second under Ramon Dominguez, with 25-1 Missunitednations coming in third.
"I was pretty confident in the filly and when you are confident in your horse everything just seems to gel," said Landry. "I was a little surprised nobody went with us. It looked like speed, but sometimes when you see that, a lot of horses end up taking a hold. Josie has a done tremendous job with this filly. I just let the filly be where she was comfortable and she kicked on. She is the real deal."
Careless Jewel broke her maiden at second asking at Woodbine May 9, then came back the following month to romp by more than seven lengths in a first-level allowance triumph going two turns. A $40,000 yearling, she was bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds and Bill Andrade. The gray/roan filly is out of the Hennessy mare Sweet and Careless.
"When we stretched her out last time, just the way she did it," said Carroll. "(Landry) could have taken the lead at any time with her and he had so much horse and then when he did finally turn her loose, she just sprinted away. You do not see that a lot first time going a route. She impressed me that day and we thought it was time to test her. It looks like she passed the test."
Sent off as the 10-1 fourth choice, Careless Jewel paid $22.80, $9.40, and $9. The exacta (4-5) returned $120.80, with the trifecta (4-5-6) paying $913.80.